USA Hockey has canceled all National Championships, including youth, girls, high school, adult and sled, that were to begin at various locations around the country starting on March 26th. In addition, the Disabled Hockey Festival was cancelled. The cancellation of the National Championships was due to the impact of the Coronavirus across the country. A conference call was held on March 12th to discuss the decision process that resulted in the National Championship cancellations, and actions that can be taken by local Affiliates to address hockey activities within their area.
PVAHA teams that had qualified for the National Championships have been notified of the cancellation. At this point in the season the Southeastern District Tournament has already been held, and league and team seasons have generally been completed. While regular season play has generally been completed, spring team play, 2020–2021 season tryouts, spring/summer tournaments and player development activities are scheduled in the near future. USA Hockey has not issued, as of this date, a national policy with regard to scheduling of activities by Affiliates and local associations. Rather, USA Hockey leadership advised the Affiliates during today’s conference call that local associations and organizations should consult with health professionals in their area in order to make decisions on whether or not to proceed with upcoming hockey activities.
The impact of the coronavirus in different areas of the county is fluid and changes on a daily basis. Some localities have banned or severely limited public gatherings. Maryland Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order on March 12, 2020 banning gatherings of 250 or more people to remain in effect until the termination of the state of emergency. Professional leagues and the NCAA have cancelled or suspended activities. Local associations, rinks, players and parents are urged to monitor and follow recommendations of County and State Public Health Officials. Participants, parents and spectators should follow recommendations of the CDC and the USA Hockey medical staff (see PDF below) to wash hands regularly, avoid handshakes, avoid touching their face, cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the flexed elbow, do not share water bottles and above all stay home and seek medical care if you feel sick. Local associations should regularly monitor Federal, State and their local or County Public Health Department news releases and public statements on the coronavirus and adjust their schedule and activities accordingly. For the duration of the coronavirus outbreak, the Affiliate Board would urge parents and players to avoid out of area travel for hockey activities.
The Affiliate Board wishes everyone a safe and healthy spring and summer, and we hope that the current outbreak of the coronavirus is resolved in the near future.